Melcrum Summit Day Two: From the Twittersphere 2012


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After posting about the content shared from day one, I thought it was only appropriate to do the same for day two.

The topics for this years summit was Competing on the Curve: Re-engineering internal communications for agility, productivity and impact… And looking at the content the delegates were sharing, I’d say this was achieved.

It looked like the second day was more agency heavy and there more interactive sessions that day one, but there were more models and top line thinking shared.

The theme of internal communicator development, collaboration and using internal comms to support business change were key themes that certainly came through.

Marks and Spencer presented a case study on driving engagement through sustainability and Plan A. This made me wonder, do we need a big business project or change like Plan A to drive engagement and collaboration?

There were several comments around collaboration and social tools, especially comments. The best advice was to know your channel and your audience, set clear boundaries, find your advocates and be bold. A simply approach but when introducing two-way dialogue for the first time a great set of tips.

Being a catalyst

Yesterday I noted some of the great quotes that made their way out of the conference room, and today is no different:

  • We may all be in difference countries and locations but we all have the same challenges. It’s only the solutions that differ depending on your organisation
  • Be a catalyst for the right kind of conversations for leaders and employees
  • We need to shift from opportunists to strategists
  • Provide tools but get people to tell the story and provide the content
  • If you’re 16 or less now then you are a digital native

The future? Developing Internal Communicators

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. The future of internal comms is in our control. Once interesting theme today was around IC professionals development:

  • RBS talked about their Academy which offers comms people a range of business skills and specialized adviser training – a great idea for development.
  • “Internal Comms is a great connector. More than a function, it’s about networking, connecting, partnering across an organisation.”
  • 31% of the room said their IC function doesn’t have the right mix of skills – my question, have we even determined what those skills are?
  • We are going to invest in social media and leadership comms – what does investment in leadership comms look like?
  • T shaped people – have a deep knowledge of one subject and a wider knowledge of other topics too. In my opinion, this is what an internal communicator needs to be.

What was predicted? Leaders who can’t communicate effectively won’t be future leaders…

Leaping over those hurdles again…

There were more barriers discussed today:

  • Lack of clear strategic narrative is a barrier to implement a comms strategy (this is the best hurdle that has been communicated, and the first time I have seen someone articulate what is fundamentally an issue for all internal comms)
  • Budget
  • Resource

Engage for Success – @DrAndyBrown

As content goes, it seems like the Engage presentation gave some great thought provoking content:

If you’re defining collaboration in your organisation there are three steps to follow:

  1. DRIVERS: What are key drivers, barriers and enablers?
  2. COLLABORATION: How can employees collaborate to achieve objectives
  3. HARD ORGANISATIONAL OUTCOMES: What are the strategic objectives

Three things internal comms can do to help an organisation collaborate:

  1. Clear strategy, start with the outcomes
  2. Involve your people, work with relevant stakeholders to deliver the right tools and culture
  3. Work with HR to develop leadership and look to shape the future recruitment strategy

These raised some questions for me… 1 and 2 should be what we do every day.

8 steps of engagement heaven from Oliver Strong, Group Director, IC & Engagement, RSA,

  1. Board level advocacy: sell ideas to leaders using hard data
  2. Hold leaders accountable – leaders /managers need to pull their weight and play part in engagement strategy
  3. Bottle & share best practice – have regular check-ins / idea exchange
  4. Celebrate the best – Top scoring engagement leaders receive a treat
  5. Support low-scoring leaders
  6. Fix big issues
  7. Emotional connection – don’t make people feel like they’re going through process. Make them feel proud of job & comp.
  8. Alignment – High engagement & clear strategy; to link the two RSA put internal & external comms functions together

So after two days and many tweets (for which I am very grateful!) I think there have been some great insights shared and some learnings that all internal comms people can take away. For me, the view on change models, collaboration and team development will provide some great ideas for next year – thanks everyone who shared and the team at Melcrum!

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